23 Nov: Codey Bill Would Aid Victims Wrongfully Imprisoned, Provide Increased Compensation

TRENTON — The Senate Judiciary Committee today approved bill S2205 sponsored by Senate President Richard J. Codey, which would substantially increase the damage compensation for anyone found wrongfully convicted and imprisoned. The bill was originally inspired by the story of Byron Halsey, the Plainfield resident who spent two decades in prison, only to have the charges dropped in 2007 after DNA evidence proved his innocence.

“There is no way to fully compensate someone for the loss of years from their life,” said Sen. Codey (D-Essex). “In cases like Mr. Halsey’s, the world and the skills set needed have changed drastically in the last 20 years. The least we can do is provide a person with a greater cushion to acclimate to life outside of prison. This is just one small way to right a gross wrong.”

28 Feb: Karcher Bill To Provide Education Incentives For Military Children

TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senator Ellen Karcher which would allow the children of military personnel stationed in New Jersey to take part in the same tuition assistance programs for higher education which are offered to in-state New Jersey residents was approved by the Senate Education Committee today by a vote of 4-0.

“Given the vital role of our troops in protecting and securing liberty in New Jersey and abroad, offering the same higher education opportunities to military children that we offer to our own children is a matter of fairness,” said Senator Karcher, D-Monmouth and Mercer. “Military children cannot develop roots in their transient homes, because the military lifestyle moves them from base to base as assignments end and begin all over the country. However, in New Jersey, we can provide them a little bit of an anchor, and give them incentives to continue their educations at some of our State’s fine higher education institutions.”

27 Dec: Karcher Bill Package To Head Off Military Base Closings Introduced

TRENTON – A package of bills sponsored by Senator Ellen Karcher to head off federal efforts to close down many local New Jersey military bases and make base continuation a more attractive option to the federal government was introduced last week in the Senate.

“Aside from contributing to our continued homeland security and maintaining our national relevance as a major depot for military weapons and personnel, the bases also are a driving force in our State’s economy, employing thousands of New Jerseyans in civilian and military posts,” said Senator Karcher, D-Monmouth and Mercer. “It would be a huge mistake, and a huge misfortune for the State of New Jersey, to close these bases. In this time of international strife, we need to continue our financial support to the troops, not cut back.”